Maritime Economics & Logistics

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 165–187 | Cite as

Port user typology and representations of port choice behavior: A Q-methodological study

  • Jin-Young Kim
Original Article


Research has identified many criteria that contribute to selecting a sea port, yet not much is known about how port users look at these criteria and how they argue on the factors that contribute to their port choice behavior. This study uses the Q methodology to explore the typology of port choice in conjunction with the port users’ own representations of their choice behavior. We employ an in-depth methodology that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methods for an investigation of port choice behavior among port users particularly in South Korea. The analysis revealed four main types: Service- and corporation-oriented; Location and cost saver; On-time and task achiever; and Capacity and infrastructure friendly type. The results provide some implications and guidance for formulating policies and effective strategies for improving the competitiveness of port authorities and port operators.


port users Q methodology typology port choice behavior 



The author is grateful to the anonymous reviewers and the editor-in-chief of this journal for their useful and constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-Young Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of General StudiesUlsan National Institute of Science and TechnologyUlsanRepublic of Korea

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